Baghdad ‘Bullies’ Mutinous Province As Iraqis Celebrate Withdrawal

At least six Iraqis were killed and 44 more were wounded as some Iraqis celebrated the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Meanwhile, Diyala province’s bid for semi-autonomy is already being criticized by the power mongers in Baghdad.

Thousands of Iraqis came out today in Falluja to celebrate the U.S. military withdrawal. Some of the attendees burned Israeli and U.S. flags during the demonstration. Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made a surprise visit to Baghdad, as U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute to withdrawing U.S. troops during a speech at Fort Bragg. Also, the handover of a U.S. base took place near Diwaniya.

A parliamentary delegation visited Diyala province to discuss the province’s bid for semi-autonomy. Independently, Iraqi National Dialogue Front official, Asad Al Mashaikhi, suggested that this was a bad time, meaning the U.S. withdrawal, to start such campaigns. He said that it would undermine security when unity is needed.

Earlier this week the council voted to begin the process. Shortly afterwards, in what Iraqiya party member Suhad Hayli called "bullying," attacks against the council took place. A Kurdish member was arrested on terrorism charges, and a guard was killed when council head Talib Muhammad Hassan’s house was torched.

At least five people were killed and 33 more were wounded in a double car bombing in Tal Afar. First, a small oil tanker exploded. It drew in first responders and onlookers to a second bombing.

In Mosul, gunmen killed a soldier. South of the city, a man and woman were wounded in a bombing.

In Baghdad, a blast wounded a teacher and his son. Another bombing wounded two more people near Shabb stadium. A fire of unknown origin destroyed many shops at a market in Amil.

Two policemen were wounded during a bombing in Shurqat.

A sticky bomb in Kirkuk wounded a Kurdish man. Gunmen wounded a Kurdish Asayesh agent in a separate attack.

Gunmen wounded a police colonel in Jurf al-Naddaf.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.